This past November, a Phen Wheel and reaction mold iron casting performance was conducted by faculty, students, alumni and friends of CU Denver College of Arts & Media.
Phen Wheels are steel and wood sculptures designed by Phen John Edwards as vehicles for molten iron, and the tenth in the series ran at The Oxpecker Ball in RiNo. Titled “Phen Wheel 10, Ferrous Wheel 2.0,” the contraption spins as iron is poured, generating a momentary—yet spectacular—airborne visual. The focus of Phen’s work is to celebrate this singularly unique drawing in air and the visual awe that comes from iron in motion. His works have featured at iron conferences and exhibitions around the U.S.
The wheel performance happens in conjunction with artist and CAM professor Rian Kerrane. She along with students, friends and alumni, operate the Kraken furnace to produce the 2,700 degree molten iron, which is elevated using The Lovely Lever (credit to artist Matt Toole). Rian Kerrane and CU Denver have an established iron pour/performance history with the River North Art District that began in 2005. Past venues include Ironton Studios and Gallery, Taxi, Dry Ice Factory, and Blake St. A Line Station. Cast iron Ox Pecker birds have been design by Samantha Kokesh, CU Denver sculpture student, to celebrate this creative history and support RiNo as they raise funds for a new art center.